Cars in Books

From Laura Ashley by Anne Sebba (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1990) we learn that the famous fashion designer's husband, Sir Bernard, liked fast driving and had a Lotus Elite, reconditioned and tuned by Anthony Sheppard, who later became the Ashleys' works manager. The Elite had been brought for £500 in kit form and built up by Sir Bernard himself. There is also reference to the first Company aeroplane, a £95,000 twin-engined Piper Navajo, seating six and two pilots, in which the Ashleys flew all over the world, piloted usually by Malcolm Bland.

Nothing of motoring note, though, in W H Auden — The Life of a Poet by Charles Osborne (Eyre Methuen, 19801, but some sleeze poems (nothing new!) and a long one that should appeal to travelling lecturers. But there is a picture of Commarket Street, Oxford, with a Rover 8 (CT 3680) in the foreground, the only other car in sight a very early bullnose Morris, and parked in the foreground a motorcycle combination I cannot identify.